Amy Foxwell has produced a scam to an audience she sees promise in- people with Trichotillomania and Dermatillomania, a “TrichStop system” and “PickStop system”. After all, nearly 5 million people in the USA alone are suspected of having a BFRB… with most still in hiding due to a lack of awareness and the shame a sufferer feels. She claims miraculous results from a serum along with a book she wrote- come to find out that the serum comes unlabelled with simple ingredients hacked off the net and her book is the same as two others in wording. She creates online aliases to give herself stellar recommendations in articles and bump her ratings up in Amazon. She is a businesswoman/ marketer/ restaurant entrepreneur by trade and shows pride, skill, and passion for that path; however, she only transfers the marketing skills to her Trichotillomania [buy buy buy!] website.
“Try the Trich Stop Kit now and see your appearance improve TODAY.”
We all know that hair and skin regenerates the SAME day! For all hair puller and skin pickers, if you go 24 hours without engaging in this behavior, doesn’t your appearance improve? (maybe for some who have it very chronically) On this same website, you see this guilt tactic designed to reel you in,
“If the knowledge is out there, why would you refuse it? This is not hype or wishful thinking. This is proven fact. It’s possible to cure Trichotillomania. And I’ve put all the tools together for you. It’s your decision– your only decision – whether to try it or not.”
Besides the peer pressure, making someone feel stupid for not purchasing this product is exactly what Amy Foxwell wants. After all:
I was first brought to attention about Amy Foxwell through a recommendation on my HuffingtonPost interview last month, the very day TLC sent out an e-mail with this article (out of the 20 others that she could have written on that TLC did not promote) which indicates Amy is on their e-mailing list. After noticing that the user who made the recommendation had only two comments, one on another article months earlier name-dropping Amy’s Trichotillomania book, I became suspicious; although I haven’t created any pseudonyms to market my own book I thought that maybe this passive-aggressive approach was her way to get her name recognized. Not my cup-of-tea, but if her book was legitimate, then it’s all good.
A little while later I received an e-mail from Amy that included a forward from the same HuffPost user, “Cecili”, telling Amy about my comments so she can clear up any misconceptions I had about her having 3 books published in the same year, claiming “cures” in their titles. What I uncovered after digging deeper last night angered me to no end, learning that Amy Foxwell is overselling and embellishing her products to profit off of us, namely “newcomers” to the BFRB circle who are not informed about the disorders and are desperate for solutions. Every claim I make in this blog can be backed up with a screenshot or photo, if requested. With over 20 of them in case she deletes anything from these sites, as of today, I had to selectively choose the most relevant screen caps for this article. (Note: These Q & A’s are from back and forth e-mail correspondence. I am separating them interview-style to make it easier to read). Red text is her responses while the light blue represents my counteraction to the remarks (and the green is for my thoughts after the correspondence).
1. “I have received this email from a fellow skin picker that I have been in contact with…”
I thought you have recovered from Dermatillomania, as your book description implies? I am very disappointed to find out that you are, in fact, Cecili on Huffington Post. By providing the FWDed e-mail from < [email protected] > by the concerned skin picker Cecili Hartgrove, I went to godaddy.com and used the domain lookup to see that it is owned by you, Amy Foxwell, from Foxwell Associates. Specifically on the Huffington Post comment, Cecili states that she is not you but hopes you see these comments. You went out of your way to write to yourself in an e-mail to make it look legitimate when in fact, I would not have had the proof that you were being dishonest about your identity without Cecili’s e-mail. After finding your Facebook profile that shows the public the name of your WordPress account, I went there and saw that you owned mabeebox.
Indeed, I USED to own Beebox, but it has been taken over by someone else (and as you will notice, there is no website anymore). Yes, I met Cecili through the MaBeeBox adventure, and she had these conditions, of which we talked at length. I am proud that she feels that she wants to defend me and I feel that her loyalty says volumes about what I am doing.
Your language in the HuffPost comment via “Cecili” and this e-mail, the use of the word (later on) “charlatan” and other chosen words is one indicator that you are the same person. Also, the “[email protected]” email would be an administrative e-mail, an owner’s e-mail… no one chooses their username as a consumer to be “info”. And yes, it is expired, but the domain search shows you haven’t renewed it. Why would someone want to buy your domain to let it expire? None of it makes sense and no answer will dispute these facts.
2. Do you prefer to be called Chef, as your amazon pseudonym implies, with only reviews for your products both as a restaurant owner, picker, and puller? “Chef” hasn’t commented on anything else and in your style of writing using your same descriptors gives you full credits on your products with 5 stars. Chef’s review on the Skin Picking book comes within 24 hours of a customer giving you 2 stars and a poorly- rated review, in hopes of bumping up your ratings. While there is no exact proof this is you, the coincidence is too uncanny considering you denied being Cecili and I found proof of that inconsistency.
I don’t know ‘Chef’ any more than you do as one cannot see the contact information. However my colleagues through my other business ventures are aware of my work, so I can only assume that it is one of those people. It feels good to be supported by the people that are around you and that you have helped, so I feel no shame in having good reviews. I think that you will see that there are other reviews, from other people; are you assuming that those are me too?
Your past indiscretion with “Cecili” shows you will go to any length to bump your own ratings so I do not know nor do I want to find out who the very few other reviews are from. (After thought) Since writing my this e-mail, I’d like to add how her twitter account @winwintips describes yourself, “After falling in love with a chef, Amy created Win Win Restaurant Marketing and Mentoring, and is now a recognized restaurant marketing expert.” Chef… hmm…
Sidenote– By Googling you, I found that you had a Kindle version of the Eyelash Pulling book, which you can see in the image provided. A customer couldn’t download the file but now the link to the review mysteriously doesn’t work?
If you could read the review, the person was complaining about a technical issue because the book did not download properly. This was a technical issue that Amazon had to help me sort out. That person then received a) a full refund and b) I sent her a legible digital version of the book to make up for the inconvenience. The person then removed the review because it was erroneous. I have no idea why you can still see part of it.
I’m sorry, I couldn’t read the full review. It was deleted precariously. I have no idea either how I can see a part of it- I guess it’s cached and a search for cached information may come up with answers to that review with a way to contact the person to verify this information.
3. I was concerned about you having 3 books published on BFRB’s- one for Dermatillomania, and 2 for Trichotillomania. While I don’t have proof of the third book, your “Skin Picking: How to Cure Dermatillomania” (pg. 18) and “Eyelash Pulling: How to Cure Eyelash and Eyebrow Trichotillomania” (pg. 25) are the exact same (Afterthought: See here for proof/ images). Your books have the same content in them, word for word, minus which disorder you’re referring to. In reality, you are correct in that the treatments are the same, but to sell books separately with the same content and workbooks is fraudulent. Many skin pickers and hair pullers have both conditions and may opt to buy all 3 of your books in hopes for answers. This is what I meant in an earlier correspondence with “you” about my fears of exploiting the BFRB community.
Yes, the three books are very similar. Because the treatments are very similar to these closely related conditions. While you see this as dishonest, I considered this speaking to individual needs. If you only have skin picking you would not look for a hair plucking book. I guess there is the possibility of people buying both or all, which I never really considered, but then I am assuming that they would return them. My intention is certainly not to have people buy both, it’s to make things as specific to the sufferer’s language as possible.
It doesn’t speak to “individual needs” when the needs are the same, according to the duplicate information provided from both books. No matter what your claimed intention is, it’s a fact- after all, you want to speak to each person individually and if someone has both disorders, they may lack the drive to return one or both books if they are in a desperate enough state to buy them all. As we know, the probabilities of someone (even without a disorder) returning a product is hardly ever because of the complications that happen to refund a relatively small amount of money… a small amount that adds up for you with enough customers.
4. (a) Speaking of misleading, my warning bells were first set off when I heard the title of Skin Picking: How to Cure Dermatillomania because it implies that this book will tell you how to cure this condition! No book or product will EVER be able to rightfully claim that theirs will be the all-encompassing cure. These disorders need to be treated and maintained. Just like you mentioned in the interview at myopportunityis (After thought: has since been taken down, but not without verifying screen caps), you always have to be careful not to slip back from an urge. I also noticed your answer for how long it took you to write this one book- it took “years”. To write a 44 page book with large print hardly seems to take that long when there are free materials online for approaches to combating these disorders.
It did indeed take me years – YEARS of fighting my condition. YEARS of trying different methods and composing my own program. I must say it’s difficult to hear you implying otherwise, especially as a fellow sufferer knowing what a long hard battle it is.
The question asked you how long it took you to write the book and your 2- worded answer doesn’t indicate otherwise. You didn’t care to clarify more. That = misleading. I now see you published a FOURTH book to your series for parents… when the Dermatillomania book was published May 23rd, 2013 and this one June 3rd, 2013, it shows that lack of effort and quality are what you aim to give sufferers.
Side note– after reading this interview and one on another website, the answers to the questions you were asked also appear to be cut and pasted instead of individualized.
The answers to those interviews are my honest, and best way of describing my condition and my experience. I am sorry if you feel that repetition in the answers shows dishonesty, for me it shows that that is the story. You have condemned me for not speaking out in the community, but I would say rather than seeing these interviews as negative, perhaps they could be viewed as trying to give hope and awareness as well as putting myself out there to talk about a condition that is hard for all of us to talk about. In the interest of awareness (which I feel is so lacking – I wish I had known I had a condition earlier), I feel that it is important to speak out. Perhaps I didn’t spend hours crafting different ways of formulating what are essentially the same answers ( I do have other commitments), but for me the most important thing, is that these are out there.
You have one story you’re sticking to, down to the crossed t’s and dotted i’s. Yes, my story hasn’t changed but the way I communicate with people is personable. You don’t spend “hours crafting different ways of formulating the same answers”, but either do I when being interviewed! It’s an interview, not a cut/ paste “sorry, you’re not worth my time communicating with” (worried about slipping up).
(b) I was gravely concerned that you had a website just for the Trich Stop Kit without mentioning the Dermatillomania cure. If I had cures for both, I’d be advertising both and working full force with TLC! Your selective marketing, in the right setting, was also an alarm for me. Both are oils that, you claim, have stopped your behaviors, and will therefore stop everyone else’s (as implied with the branding). As with the book, some people do benefit from oils and creams as barriers to picking or pulling… but other people find them triggering as they create uncomfortable sensations on their skin or scalp just by merely being there.
Yes, indeed, the oil was key for my own treatment. And I was sick of seeing only chemical solutions that for me are the real scams (Latisse, Nioxin, Etc – I have tried them all). If people find the oil uncomfortable then they should just discontinue it. If people are not happy there is a full money back option. In addition I don’t understand why you are attacking me for not having a Dermatillomania site, when you seem to be attacking me for having a book?
It’s not an attack nor is it when you choose words that make it sound so. They should discontinue it? But you claim it’s how to cure Trich and Derm! Why would someone discontinue it? It’s your revolutionary kit that comes with a “CURE” book, not a guide/ suggestion book. It’s sketchy to only have a Trich site if your methods truly help both and you want to market both instead of selecting the disorder with more awareness prevalence to begin with. It’s not about creating a site that has more awareness- it’s about creating awareness with what you have found through your personal journey.
5. Seeing the prices of these books and oils is alarming. $9.99- $14.99 for books that are up to 50 pages in length is overpriced. Seeing that your Trich Stop System includes the book and 15 ml of oil for $49.95 does not give a consumer what they are paying for; in fact, I wonder if you view clients as consumers instead of sufferers.
I have one of the lowest priced books, exactly for the reason that I want to get it in to as many hands as possible. I am self published, most of that money goes to the publishers/producres/amazon anyway. As you say elsewhere in this email, books like these are not a way to make money.
Yes, you want it to go into “newcomers” hands the most, as stated somewhere else in here. I know the costs of self-publishing and know that when you buy a certain number of your own books in bulk, the cost per unit goes down. So you purchase a few hundred of each as an “investment”, slap in overpriced oil, and you now have a kit.
If you opt out of the manual, it’s $39.95, so does that mean that an unlabelled 15ml bottle of “olive oil, basil, rosemary, and jojoba oils” cost $24.95? As a successful owner of a restaurant business, as your other 2 books imply, why use this community as a way to cash-in? If I was well-off financially in a booming restaurant business I’d be giving my book away for next to nothing- and oils if I dared to go that route. A great alternative to this oil is vitamin E oil and you get much more in a bottle for $7. Your oil is for hair AND skin, but doesn’t provide a label? Alas, your kit is marketed on the homepage as $39.95 but then automatically readjusted to add the $10 on the purchase page; overall, everything about this sounds more and more like a scam and I cannot see any justification in these “marketing” methods misused to target a group of people desperate to do anything to change having a BFRB.
Organic essential oils are expensive. You can purchase the kit for $39.95 if you opt for digital delivery of the manual. This is very clear, gives people different options, and is by all means, not a scam.
Simple Google searches come up with the very recipes I found. As an ex- sufferer, providing the community with advice about this concoction would be what an honest person would do instead of selling an overpriced, unlabelled, unregulated liquid. There, #1 is your reproduced oil. And it’s not expensive when you buy in bulk, add this many drops of each (coincidentally in a 15ml bottle), and have a large customer base.
Side note– Why be proud of your Trich system but not your Derma revelations? My guess is that you know that Trichotillomania has more awareness than Derma so it’s best to hone in on that community specifically, investing in a website for trichsters knowing it has a better chance for a successful outcome. If I had a legitimate system, I’d have a website that included both and I’d write my story out about how I found the cure. My webpage is interactive and updated with only 1 page (and an icon on the home page) dedicated to selling my book unlike yours which is completely geared to “buy buy buy”.
Again, you are attacking me for not having a Derma site, but you are about my book? I have specifically written about my experiences on my site, as well as a lot of free advice. The same advice that is in your book[s].
Attached, I have a folder for you to peruse which contains screenshots of our e-mail, the HuffingtonPost comments, the godaddy.com domain search, the Amazon reviews, images of the both books with identical writing, your website, and more. In the future, if you decide to delete these comments they have been caught for future use. MaBeeBox wasn’t a successful endeavor for you and neither is the BFRB marketing. As I know personally from selling a Dermatillomania book for the last 3.5 years, there is not a lot of money that can be made in this “industry”; I do it for empowerment, for acceptance, and to provide help to those who feel the way I once did. The statistics of sufferers look remarkable in that roughly 2-5% of the population is suspected of having a BFRB, so it’s easy to cash in on us once more awareness comes about. The ‘newcomers’ are the easiest people to persuade as they won’t know much about these disorders or the networks in place set to legitimately help them with their journey- they need correct information instead of a quick gimmick designed for them to be a one- time customer.
I agree, this is not a money making industry. The time I spend far outweighs any money earned. I am doing this to get a positive message to people, especially those who are perhaps not part of the community. To be honest I was one of them, and had certainly not been part of the community, until I began reaching out recently because of some really positive exchanges that I have had.
You don’t spend much time with this- you copy and paste everything until now (After thought- some of these answers were copied/ pasted when others wrote to her as well with the same concerns) when different questions are being asked. You even said above you have other commitments so you can’t take the 15 minutes out of your day and give other answers for interviews other than ones you gave before.
If you were ever a sufferer of these behaviors, I can’t wrap my head around certain strategic, yet dishonest and misleading, tactics you have used. I am always looking for former and current sufferers who want to raise awareness, so this revelation has made me feel ill. My motivation in life is to aid sufferers in self- acceptance through my own trials while continuing to share my personal struggles; while that is not every advocate’s approach, your impersonal cut-and-paste styles with nearly duplicating e-mails and books show a lack of passion for helping out the cause. I am not discrediting that this system worked for you (although I am unsure) but the faux- confidence in marketing a done-deal cure doesn’t sit well with me.
I am sorry, but we have differing opinions. I feel good about getting a positive message out there, about making this information more available to people who know nothing about the condition, about the hours I spend answering emails and talking to people about their condition and giving them a message of hope. I strongly believe that it is possible to improve the condition and yes, even control it. That may not happen for everyone, and on those cases I do think it’s important to work on acceptance. However I also think there is a positive, uplifting, encouraging message that is not always heard, and I am happy to be that voice and give people some constructive tools.
These constructive tools are already available online for free. They are not duplicated into 4 books and sold under a pretense that they will give someone the cure they are so desperately looking for.
As someone with an impeccable background and expertise in marketing and business growth, you may realize that the best thing to do at this point is to remove all of your Dermatillomania and Trichotillomania merchandise. This includes oils, kits, books, website, and manuals. Like your interviews, books, and e-mail correspondence, I will be copying and pasting this e-mail into a blog I plan on sharing by June 12th, 2013. If nothing has been removed we can then leave it to viewers to make up their minds about your products. However, please be advised that my blog experiences high traffic volumes which is demonstrated in Google and it may not reflect well on the brand name “Amy Foxwell” or “Foxwell and Associates”.
I am sorry that you feel that you need to threaten a fellow author, and someone who has a different voice about this, but I am proud of my message. I am all for open information in the community. I hope that perhaps you will include my answers in the interest of being fair. In any case, I wish you all the best with your condition, and I do reiterate that I applaud you speaking out about your condition. Hopefully, with many different approaches we can make advances for everyone.
It’s not a threat, Amy. I am an advocate for sufferers and will let them see your correspondence as well so they can make up their minds about the facts you chose to ignore (how labeling a bottle has anything to do with distribution, for one). For me to discredit someone else tears me up inside because this is one of the worst things that can happen to a community- an intrusion on our vulnerabilities. Since you have made your intentions clear in keeping your products online, I will post this today to my viewers. I’m sorry it had to come down to this- I was willing to not write this at all and keep it between us, but ‘consumers’ have the right to know what they’re getting in to.
After thought: She has since launched the Pick Stop page in light of being called out on the Trich Stop, so I have edited this article to reflect the addition to this scam to warn other potential victims of this scam.
In her final e-mail to me, she has stated:
“In my opinion there is no one answer, and I would never dream of censoring you or any other author or contributor just because I do not agree with their approach.”
To bring it back to the false claims on her website:
“I am absolutely sure this will work for you. Why? Because it has worked for me and others. I am so sure that I guarantee it 100%.”